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A community survey in Williamstown, issued by the town manager search committee, is meant to guide the committee’s work in establishing criteria and credentials it should seek in advertising for the post and interviewing candidates.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Town officials are urging residents to fill out a survey detailing what qualifications and experience they would like to see in the next town manager.

The community survey, issued by the town manager search committee, is meant to guide the committee’s work in establishing criteria and credentials it should seek in advertising for the post and interviewing candidates.

“The committee would like to engage the citizens of Williamstown in the town manager search process,” said Hugh Daley, a member of the Select Board and liaison for the search committee. “We are providing this opportunity for the community to rank some of the qualities they would most like to see in our new town manager.”

The survey asks about leadership and management style, technical abilities and professional experience, Daley noted.

“We are also interested in what the community thinks are the challenges and opportunities for the town and the new town manager,” he said. “In broad terms, we’ll use this information to help define the job to prospective candidates and help the committee form our profile of the ideal candidate.”

The survey is online, as well as in a hard copy at the Milne Public Library, Town Hall and a few other spots with public access. The deadline for filling out and submitting the survey is Aug. 9.

To facilitate the search process, the town has hired the firm GovHR USA.

Since 1956, the town charter gives the town manager the authority to manage town affairs, basically as the chief executive officer, reporting to the Select Board, which serves the role that a board of directors would.

The town manager has the authority to appoint many town officials, such as the chief of police; to prepare budgets and town meeting warrants; to recommend policies, procedures and ordinances; and to supervise day-to-day management of the town.

Duties of the town manager include reporting to the Select Board all of the activities under the manager’s supervision, keeping the board fully advised of the town’s needs and recommending adoption of measures requiring action by the town.

Daley said the committee is hoping for a significant response by townsfolk.

“We’re hoping to get a broad range of townspeople to respond,” he said. “We want to get as many responses as we can.”

Essentially, he explained, the more responses, the more effective the committee can be in deriving a good profile of the perfect candidate.

“I think this will help us better define the candidate that is most qualified to address our needs today,” Daley said. “I think we’ll also get a good sense of what the community thinks the job needs.”

In the end, the search committee will select a few finalist candidates.

“Ultimately, the committee will select the candidates to put forward for Select Board consideration,” Daley said. “This is an important opportunity for the community to voice their opinions to influence that selection.”

Former Town Manager Jason Hoch offered his resignation in February, over fallout from a controversy regarding allegations in a lawsuit of past racial and sexual harassment at the Police Department.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or at 413-629-4517.